Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earth Day was Yesterday, Now What?

Most people know that yesterday, April 22, was Earth Day. But aside from donning an earth friendly t-shirt (largely by accident), I didn't to much for the planet.

What would have done if I had really been thinking about it?

I asked Twitter if they were doing anything special for Earth Day; here are the responses:

Gradon Tripp gradontripp @skalik I took the T to work today. Wait, I do that everyday!
Doug Haslam DougH @skalik I'm reading the 96-page glossy print edition of the NYT Sunday Mag's "green" issue

Despite the mild heckling, these folks raise some good points. Here a few ideas for greening your day to day:

-Green Tactics-
Ride a bike, take the T (or any other form of public transit), or just walk.

Cut Paper
In any way you can. Read books, articles, magazines and newspapers online (when possible). Go paperless with bank statements, bills and receipts. Finally, think before hitting print on emails or anything--ask yourself if you'll ever look at that piece of paper again. If the answer is no, but you already hit print, find yourself a big blue recycling bin and get busy!

Recycle, Reduce, Reuse: Beyond the Basics
Recycle: Take the Nike approach and Just Do It! Get some bins and look for the recycling logo on packaging before you throw it away. You'd be surprised how much can actually be recycled--everything from dog food cans to cereal boxes to plastic forks and knives.

Reduce: Consider the packaging before making that purchase. Is it excessive? Can any of it be reused? For example, buy one big bag of chips, instead of a box of little bags, and put 'em in a reusable container for lunch.

Reuse: (Will I be able to define it without using the word itself?) Purchase and utilize the same item over and over again, as long as you can, before replacing it. Look for ways to get more life out of packaging.

There's always more we can do for the earth. Small changes can make everyday Earth Day. If Earth Day were tomorrow, what would you do differently?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Social Media is Anti-Social

At the last social media breakfast (#smb6), brought to us by Bryan Person and Jeff Pulver (thanks guys), Jeff actually said out loud that social media is anti-social. @beeahna put it another way at the recent PRSSA regional event when she said "social media is neither social or media, discuss."

It sounds absurd at first. Social media is anti-social! But why is it called social media then?

But the truth is, if you're tweeting at the dinner table, you're not conversing with the people in front of you. It's a very removed way to be social and friendly. Social media allow us to be in touch with people around the world, but what does it mean if we can't translate that openness and transparency to the time we spend with people offline?

What's the point of having a million Facebook friends if you're still hunched over a computer on a Friday night alone?
cartoon from

Be honest. When you're sitting at a meeting full of laptops, do you wonder what's up on the other guys screen? Solitarie? Is he listening to you? LA Times reported that some Silicon Valley companies are going "topless" partially for this reason. Clicking away on a laptop, cell phone or any other device doesn't inspire that team feeling, in fact, it partially removes you from your surroundings.

What's my solution? We can't forget in all the social media love fests that there are still humans to interact with in person. Go to dinner with a bunch of folks from Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Pulse, etc. and put a face with the online personality you're used to.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Oh Yeah, I Have a Blog: Certainty of Uncertain Times

I just got a direct message from someone I follow on Twitter (hat tip to a certain broadcasting Canadian for giving me a kind word and an indirect boot in my hind quarters). He wrote that he had just checked out my blog...

Blog. What blog?

(Really, I haven't forgotten that I have a blog. But I imagine it looks like it...)

I'm embarrassed to say I've had a long period of uncertainty about the nature of things. Over-thinking, I've been asking those big "what do you want to do with your life" questions. Irregardless of the fact that there are no answers.

Though I am well aware I stand to benefit from the depth of knowledge available to me via community and social networks, exuding an absence of clarity is far from confidence inspiring. Not exactly what I want to portray to my co-workers, clients, acquaintances or the general public... So I've kept to myself a bit, lest I give myself away. (Don't read too much into that; there are very few finite answers to such issues as identity.)

Last night, I attended an event on social media marketing at Emerson College. One of the smartie panelists pointed out that building a personal brand takes a lot of dedication and commitment to the community. Perhaps part of being a young professional, and thereby part of my personal brand, is being okay with the uncertainty of adulthood?